Young people need to ‘play the long game’ to achieve lasting success in their career, says CEO—here’s how to start

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Lasting success doesn't happen overnight. Young people have to "play the long game" if they want to achieve it, according to one successful CEO. 

Matt Weiss, who leads the upcycled dried snacks company RIND, says young people often feel a tremendous amount of pressure to achieve success early in their careers. Reading annual "30 Under 30" lists or stories about self-made millionaires in their 20s can give young people the false impression that they should have short-term deadlines to succeed.

But Weiss says that's the wrong way to go about it: Instead of trying to emulate those quick and flashy success stories, young people should work towards longer-term career goals.

This will help you build resilience and accumulate a wide range of knowledge, skills and experience — often after numerous years — in pursuit of those long-term goals. That's the best way to set yourself up for lasting success, according to Weiss. 

"At the end of the day, there just aren't any shortcuts in building a career or business that is successful in the long run. It can't be forced," Weiss tells CNBC Make It. "It takes time and requires young people to think more long term if they want to reach that kind of success." 

Weiss drew on the success of his own company, which now offers products on Amazon and the shelves of more than 6,000 retail stores nationwide. The company will soon expand to 4,000 more locations, including Whole Foods, CVS, Target and Costco branches.

He notes that years of planning and hard work went into RIND's launch in 2018 and the success that followed. It wasn't just a quick stint he thought up in a matter of months or even a single year. 

Weiss points to the longer path he had to take: From his countless hours of research on the natural food industry, and the amount of networking he had to do to get the company off the ground, all the way back to his first food industry job scooping ice cream at a very young age. All of it played a role in his success with RIND.

"Those experiences, the knowledge and lessons I learned up to that point is what allowed us to achieve the success that we saw after launching and that we see even now," Weiss says. "It was an accumulation of those things, sort of like my pre-production work."

That was his version of "playing the long game," and he says it's something that anyone can emulate. Weiss outlined two simple things you can do to get started.

1. Seek advice from influential people

Seek advice from any older, influential people in your life and ask what it took for them to achieve their own versions of success, Weiss says.

There could be any number of people in your family or social circle who fit the bill, from a parent who fulfilled their dream of becoming a doctor to a coworker who stepped into a senior-level leadership role at your company, or even a friend who launched a profitable online business. 

More often than not, Weiss bets, they'll say it took years of planning and hard work. Keep their stories in mind when you think about your own career. Weiss says it could help you envision and set longer term goals for yourself. 

"You'll see that there's often a longer arc involved with the success of those people in your life," he says. 

2. Tune out distractions

Take a break from LinkedIn or social media as a whole, which often serve up a stream of those flashy, viral success stories that might get to your head. Weiss recommends "tuning out" for even just a few hours to think about your long-term goals and how you can plan to meet them. 

Without the influence of social media, it's often easier to think critically about the path forward, he says. 

"Young people are bombarded by daily pings from work or posts on social media. Removing yourself from that 24/7 stimulus can help in thinking much more critically, understanding the bigger picture of where they want to go, what they want to do," Weiss says.

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